The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp Review

Saturday, 21 March 2015
The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp
Publication: July 9, 2013, by Ember
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 294
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Rating: ½

So, my girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I’m not sure I want the answer to. 
Some people would let a senior year like this get them down. Not me. I’m Sutter Keely, master of the party. But don’t mistake a midnight philosopher like me for nothing more than a shallow party boy. Just ask Aimee, the new girl in my life. She saw the depth in the Sutterman from that first moment when she found me passed out on the front lawn. Okay, so she’s a social disaster, but that’s where I come in. 
Yes, life is weird, but I embrace the weird. Let everyone else go marching off into their great shining futures if they want. Me, I’ve always been more than content to tip my whisky bottle and take a ride straight into the heart of the spectacular now.

Never in a million years... I guess that's a saying used in unbelief, hm? Well in fact, and as well in this case, I was in complete unbelief the whole time through, as Tim Tharp has written a truly 'spectacular' romance that causes readers to think and question the true meaning of being a teenager and what life has in store for all of us.

You see, things aren't so simple for teens. We're prone to deal with issues, and especially that technology is improving by each split second, we have to go through so much, including guilt, alcohol and first love, just a few of the issues explained and portrayed throughout this novel. Tharp uses these words exactly like it's from his point of view, taken from his whole life, and added, smashed into every reader's mind. This is something splendid and unlike any other romance I've read in a while. I'm so anxious to see the movie with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, as it simply is weird and unexpected to think that you know what it'll end up like. But usually, the book is almost-always better than the movie, no?

This wild ride all began with us meeting Sutter Keely, who can be said to be your average teenage guy who drinks heavily and is loving his life alongside partying and his "hot" girlfriend Cassidy. So, everything's going chill for him when he helps his best friend get a girlfriend, and everyone turns against him. He loses his girlfriend and his friends, and is isolated and depressed until he meets Aimee, who finds Sutter on her front lawn, passed out. I guess you can say that he changes her into a completely new person, whether readers like the change or not. *laughs*

"That type of dream just kind of wears out with time like a favourite old T-shirt. One day, it's nothing but tatters and all you can do is throw it over on the rag pile with the others. Still, I can't help looking back every now and then at how it used to be."

Tharp has established such a simple and light read that punches chills all over my spine, as the longing for a relationship like Aimee and Sutter's is what I feel the most. From the beginning, I was having some trouble with trying to understand what Sutter's purpose was and rather felt bored, though the ending made up for it and that's why we ended up here with a 4.5 star rating. The plot then became fast-paced after Sutter met Aimee, and their character relationship was certainly something remarkable. I couldn't believe how strong their bond had been, and the ending just had shattered me in half as we simply didn't know the future.

WE LIVE FOR SUTTER AND AIMEE. SUMEE! The fact that these two peas in a pod were so unalike made them alike. The actual magic that Tharp created was something that John Green would certainly present as well, a romance that's weird at first but flows into a river-motion where everything eventually gets perfect but ends with a boom. That boom always has to come, no matter what situation you're put into, and the author left us guessing, creating our own ending onto the glorious story of two reckless teens trying to find their way through in the world of mysteries and issues. But they had created the issues themselves, in a way.

This could be your average road-trip novel, for some. For others, this will be one of the best romances that you've ever read, looking at the development of the story and how real it seemed to be. The pacing was perfect, and the way the characters looked each other in the eye was spectacular. Screw Cassidy and her judgments, take Aimee and turn the world upside down for a change. People like her are perfect for any man, I tell you. And when a female protagonist like her catches an eye, she's bound to make the greatest female movie role out there.

"'I can't dance like Cassidy,' she says. 'Yeah, but you dance like Aimee. And that's perfect.'" 

Fall in love, take a fabulous stroll, go to prom, have a drink, go on a road trip. That's the beautiful scenes of this novel, where Tim Tharp and Sutter Keely had captured me and still haven't let me go... yet. I'm bound to go take a peek at the movie and see what others have felt that their own minds have captured and put it into a movie, but the words and phrases of a masterful writing genius will always stay in my heart. Be a rebel, stay reckless, and read this book... young or old. 


  1. I thought the movie was pretty good but Id like to read the book. Like you said, the book is usually better. Great review! <3 Bee @ Bee Reads Books

    1. Ah, yes! I totally ship Miles and Shailene TOGETHER, and I can't wait to see their chemistry! :D Thank you, Bee!

  2. I have wanted to read this book for a while now! I wanted to see the movie first, but I thought it would be better to read the book first. It looks like a great contemporary!


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